Driving etiquette: Spotlight on safety

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A roundabout that is thoroughly congested with auto traffic. Even here, driving etiquette should be observed.

So many cars, so little driving etiquette… (Photo: Through the Magnifying Glass)

Driving etiquette may sound like something one would learn in finishing school, but the reality is that showing consideration for others who occupy the highway is not only polite, but necessary for safety’s sake. As a Thinkquest entry on driving etiquette rightly puts it, “Everyone appreciates the good manners of a driver who: Signals his turns, makes his stops smoothly and gradually pulls into the proper lane well before making a turn.” This maintains decorum and helps keep the lives of the driver and others out of harm’s way.

Let driving etiquette drive how you interact with drivers

Not only should drivers observe proper speed limits as part of their driving etiquette regimen, they should not attempt to “shoot the fruit” and barrel through a traffic signal just before it turns red. If drivers are alert to road conditions, they will typically notice a changing traffic light in plenty of time to make a smooth, safe stop utilizing relaxed braking. Too many accidents occur at intersections where one driver was attempting to beat a red light. Proper driving etiquette can help cut down the number of accidents. That includes signaling properly to alert other drivers and pedestrians to your merging and turning intentions. In bad weather, when high-beam headlights are necessary, dim those when another driving passes in the opposite direction. High beams can cause temporary road blindness that may lead to an accident. If an accident does occur and the drivers are unharmed, be prepared to share insurance info and refrain from name-calling or admission of fault.

Don’t drive while distracted or intoxicated

We all know that driving while intoxicated is irresponsible, dangerous and criminal. A driver’s judgment, reaction times and even motor skills are easily impaired by alcohol and drug use. About.com notes that, while somewhat controversial, marijuana should also be considered a drug that temporarily damages driving ability. Numerous research projects like the recent Hartford Hospital study in Connecticut cited by Click On Detroit indicate that “the results do not imply that it is safe to drive under the influence of marijuana.”

Distracted driving can be equally dangerous, if not moreso. A recent Associated Content article regarding road rage suggests that multitasking while driving simply isn’t a good idea for most people, if not all. Cell phones, food, makeup, video games, television and a host of other distractions can make good driving etiquette impossible. How can you maintain proper spacing and control at all times on the road if your attention is buried in texting while driving?

Practice proper driving etiquette – Be careful out there

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Sources:

Thinkquest.org

Associated Content

About.com

Click On Detroit

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